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          Tyre Sidewall Markings

          Tyre sidewall markings are used to indicate the size and specifications of the tyre, providing important information about the size, brand and range they come from. Also, they show the tyre has passed the necessary safety standards imposed by UK or European law.

          Due to the available space on the tyre sidewall, these markings are displayed in shorthand digits and abbreviations so they can be difficult to read, if you’re not familiar with their meanings.

          Type of Construction

          This indicates how the tyre has been constructed. Most modern tyres are of radial construction, indicated by the letter ‘R’, whereas older tyres tend to be cross-ply.

          Country of Manufacture

          This indicates where the tyre has been made, in this is example, the tyre has been made in Great Britain.

          Brand Name

          The manufacturer of the tyre will be clearly printed on the sidewall of the tyre and will often be the largest marking.

          Pattern Name

          Tyre manufacturers design and sell a range of different tyre patterns unique to their brand. For example, in the example image, ‘Dexel’ would be the brand of tyre whilst ‘Sport’ would be the pattern name.

          Tread Wear Indicators

          Tread wear indicators are small blocks within the tyre tread that inform drivers when their tyres are approaching 1.6mm, the UK legal tyre tread minimum. Many tyre manufacturers denote where indicators are located with a mark on the sidewall; in our example it is the letters ‘TWI’, but Michelin tyres will display a small Michelin man and other manufacturers will use a triangle. Not all brands of tyre will carry this marking, so it is important that you check your tyre tread frequently to ensure that it does not fall below the legal minimum.

          Tyre Size

          The tyre size is indicated by three different numerical codes. It will be displayed like this: 205 / 55 / R16.

          Load Index

          This figure refers to the maximum load that a tyre can carry. Look for the load index on the sidewall of your tyres and from the below load index table, you will be able to find the maximum load that you can carry in kilograms.

          Load Index Kilograms Load Index Kilograms Load Index Kilograms
          65 290 80 450 95 690
          66 300 81 462 96 710
          67 307 82 475 97 730
          68 315 83 487 98 750
          69 325 84 500 99 775
          70 335 85 515 100 800
          71 345 86 530 101 825
          72 355 87 545 102 850
          73 365 88 560 103 875
          74 375 89 580 104 900
          75 387 90 600 105 925
          76 400 91 615 106 950
          77 412 92 630 107 975
          78 425 93 650 108 1000
          79 437 94 670    


          Speed Rating

          The speed rating of your tyre is similar to the load index, it is a key which relates to a corresponding table and tells you the maximum speed you can travel on your tyre, when inflated to the correct pressure and carrying maximum load.

          When buying new tyres, make sure that the speed rating matches the speed capabilities of your vehicle. Dexel Tyre & Auto Centre recommend that you fit tyres with the speed rating that the vehicle manufacturer specified for the vehicle. It is important to note, however, that you can choose to fit tyres with a higher speed rating if you wish, but you must not fit tyres with a lower speed rating.

          Speed Symbol Approx MPH
          Q 99
          R 106
          S 112
          T 118
          H 131
          V 149
          VR 131
          W 168
          Y 186
          ZR 149

           

          If you require further guidance on reading your tyre sidewall markings, contact your local Dexel Tyre & Auto Centre where one of our tyre specialists will be able to offer more advice.

          Select your tyre size

          Front Tyre Size
          Rear Tyre Size

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